Thursday, 12 September 2019

THEATRE REVIEW: Everything I See I Swallow - The Lowry Theatre, Salford.

Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Shasha And Taylor Productions’ Everything I See I Swallow tells the relationship between a mother (played by Tamsin Shasha) and her young, beautiful daughter (played by Maisy Taylor) and their generational differences on what it means to be a strong, feminist woman. Devised by the two performers along with director Helen Tennison, this production uses aerial work and the ancient art of Japanese bondage, shibari, to question if we are in control of our bodies and our sexuality. Is it true, for example, that ‘my beauty belongs to those who find me beautiful’?

Despite a delayed start to the show, the audience was met with a startling opening image upon entering the theatre. Taylor’s character was hanging from a gymnastics ring and bound all over with red ropes, hanging there semi-naked and vulnerable. However, Taylor raises the question, is she in fact vulnerable, or is she in more control of her body than her mother is of hers? This production presented two opposing feminist views at war, which was beautifully represented through the art of rope work. The two actors moved seamlessly on the ropes and climbed over and amongst each other in an effort to overpower the other. By having the two actors tell their story using their bodies, they were really able to raise the issue of the importance of our bodies.

The use of technology was also very prominent here in revealing the shifting attitudes towards sexuality. The daughter, Olivia, has amassed over 50,000 followers on Instagram through her semi-naked bondage images, whilst her mother tied herself to railings in her youth in an effort to be heard. This intimate production (some members of the audience were in fact invited to sit on the stage on beanbag chairs) is laced with humour and moments of stillness. The two actors managed to fill the stage and their chemistry and trust of one another really aided this performance. This production runs for 60 minutes with no interval.

Reviewer - Megan Relph
on - 11/9/19

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